Why Does my Back Hurt? Back, Neck and Shoulder Care
Have you got a sore lower back? If so, here’s why:
Lower cross syndrome is an imbalance that can cause dysfunction, pain and an over-arching of the low back. It is a combination of weak abdominal muscles, weak gluteus and tight hip flexor as well as lower back. This Syndrome creates an anterior tilt of the pelvis, putting excessive stress on the back. Physical inactivity, poor exercise techniques and prolonged sitting – particularly with poor posture – can lead to the shortening of the hip flexor. Hip flexor stretches, as well as strengthening the muscles that produce a posterior pelvic tilt are essential for the treatment of lower cross syndrome.
To remedy this problem, what is tight needs to be stretched and what is weak needs to be strengthened.
1) Hip flexor stretch. Right leg forward in a full lunge (insert picture), take your left area and hold high over your head with the inside of your elbow to your ear and then lean to the right. You should feel a good stretch in the area of your left front hip. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the left.
2). Stand tall. With your right arm, grab your right foot directly behind you. Now lean forward for a better stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the left. You should feel a good stretch your quad muscle of each leg.
3). The Child’s pose. Maintain the stretch for 30 seconds. For more stretch, move your palms to the right, hold for 30 seconds, then to the left and hold for 30 seconds.
We’ve stretched, now we need to strengthen.
1). Hold your left leg up in front of you approximately 12 inches off the floor, foot flexed. Then gently sit in a chair, then stand. Repeat five times. Then do the same maneuver with your right leg. This you should feel from your glutes down the entire length of your hamstrings. If this is too difficult for you, try using the arm of a couch rather than a chair to sit.
2). Stand on your right leg with your left foot flexed and slightly lifted to the right. Now do 10 small circles in a forward motion, then 10 small circles in a backward motion. Repeat on the left.
3). The Plank. To do the plank, you need to engage the abdominal as well as the gluteus muscles. You don’t want your back to sag or be hunched, but rather a straight line. If the plank is too difficult for you from your toes, start on your knees and work your way to your toes. Ideally you would like to be able to plank on your toes for one minute. You can work up to a minute by holding the plank for 15 seconds, taking a 15-second rest, then continue on until you’ve reached the one-minute mark in 15-second increments. The plank strengthens your entire body and eliminates any pressure on your wrists.
Stand tall, stomach in and march on!
If you liked this post, you might also like our post on Upper Cross Syndrome.